september. they are expected to be nuclear free for the first time in 15 months. nuclear plants across the country shut down for regular inspections after the accident two years ago at fukushima. last july officials with the power company were allowed to restart two reactors at the plant and set to submit an pication to the authority to shut down one of the reactors in early september and another two weeks later. the operators of six other plants have filed applications to restart their reactors. now the regulators are busy checking to see if the facilities are safe. the operator of the fukushima nuclear plant is still struggling to stop radioactive water from reaching the sea. tokyo electric power company learned that the efforts so far have failed. high levels of radio activity have been detected in monitoring wells in the plant site and
nearby waters since may. tepco has been using a hardening agent to try to solidify the embankment of the plant to a depth of 16 meters and hopes that might stop the tainted water from leaking into the pacific. officials admit water levels in the contaminated well have risen by about one meter since the walk began in early july. the construction work on the embankment is likely causing the problem. the sump said they are struggling to harden the top layer of the soil and water may be seeping out. they prompted the head of the state's regulator to criticize the utility. they had no sense of crisis despite the emergency. japan's government pledged to lower issuances from next string. they want to have the staggering balance deficit of $340 billion by fiscal 2015.
a government panel drafted the outlines of a mid-term plan to rebuild the nation's fiscal health. that i lay out steps to reduce the deficit. they want to improve the account balance by $80 billion between fiscal 2014 and 2015. to achieve this, they said they will keep issuances of new bonds lower starting in the next fiscal year. the plan said something specific about a tax hike. abe said he will decide in the fall whether to go ahead with the hike. # people in egypt fear they may see another week of blood shed. they were ordered to clear the protesters from the streets. military commanders over through former president mohammad morsi
a month ago and installed a new government. supporters have been staging rallies demanding he be reinstated. on wednesday officials ordered security forces to clear two protest camps blocking roads in the camp. the demonstrators pose a threat to national security. morsi supporters are outrage and say the generals are intervening and threatening peace. they say they will not give in to threats. morsi supporters staged a series of protests last weekend. forces tried to are remove them. at least 80 people were killed. the crack down fuelled concerns among diplomats that the military plans to crush the muslim brotherhood. officials have started counting the votes in zimbabwe's first general election in five years. the 89-year-old ruled the country for 33 years and wants to extend his reign. voters across the nation visited
polling stations to ballots. he faced off against prime minister morgan tsvangirai. the last vote was marked by violence that left more than 200 people dead. this time he has drawn criticism for clamping down on opposition supporters and journalists. some are claiming electoral fraud. officials are expected to announce the results within five days. if neither wins more than a 50% of the votes, they are scheduled to go to a run off election in september. israeli and palestinian representatives are securing the peace that alluded them for decades. they held their first negotiations in three years and agreed to spend up to months trying to reach a deal. the israeli justice minster and palestinian chief negotiators
met over two days in washington. u.s. secretary of state john kerry mediated. he said the negotiators will hold the next round of talks in two weeks either in israel or the palestinian territories. >> i can assure you that these negotiations and it's not our exception to argue about the past. but to create solutions and make decisions for the future. >> it's time for the palestinian people to have an independent, sovereign state of their own. >> negotiations to create the long sought palestinian state endured many stops and starts. the palestinians quit the last round of talks in 2010 to protest against the expansion of israeli settlements and returned to the table after israeli leaders agreed to release more than 100 prisoners.
nhk world joined us from jerusalem to discuss why the sides agreed to try again. >> in a nut shell they vowed to renewed pressure from the united states. secretary of state john kerry made mideast peace his priority. he has traveled to the region six times to encourage a return to the negotiation table. neither wanted to be the who stood in the way. they had initial talks to agreeing with the prisoner,but the expansion and occupied territory is by far the bigger issue. the government is constructing these settlements in violation of an international law. the israeli government refused to put the freeze on further expansion. this also means that it will be very difficult to agree on where the border will lie between the future palestinian state and
israel. the debate over the status and the right of return for palestinian refugees or other issues. unless they work to address these challenges and find ways to compromise, this new round of talks could quickly end in another deadlock. so the latest development is significant only in the sense that the israelis and palestinians have been pushed to meet again after three years. the path fors peace remains long and daunting. >> nhk world from je louis elements. >> the father of edward snowden said the fbi asked him to set up a meeting with his son in russia. edward snowden wanted by authorities for leaking details of intelligence programs.
the former agency contractor has been holed up at a transit zone for more than a month. he applied for asylum in russia. his father told russia state-run he declined an fbi offer to fly to russia. >> i'm anxious to talk to him. the fbi had offered me the opportunity and asked me if i wanted to fly to moscow sometime ago. under the circumstances, i did not want to go. >> speaking from a u.s. studio, snowden said he doesn't trust the fwi and doesn't want to be used as a tool to put psychological pressure on his son. >> i feel that russia has the strength and resolve and conviction to protect my son and keep him out of the reach of those who would wish him harm. that's why if it were me, i would stay in russia. >> lon snowden spoke to the u.s. media recently and made no mention of the fbi's approach.
washington has been left shaken by the actions of edward snowden and criticism about u.s. inteligence agencies, gathering confidential information around the world. they targeted foreign governments and u.s. citizens in the name of national security. nhk spoke with the former head of the national security agency and the central intelligence agency, michael hayden who began working in intelligence while serving in the air force. former president george w. bush appointed him as a member of the cia in 2006. his mission was to strengthen information gathering capabilities. hayden oversaw the controversial surveillance of domestic communication carried out without warrants. snowden's case he said is very different from any other information leak in the past. >> it's not a glass of water or a bucket of water or a cup of water. that's bad enough.
what snowden revealed is what i call the plumbing. he revealed how it isry acquire information and the sources and the methods we use to go out and get this data for the safety and for the liberty of american citizens. >> snowden first took refuge in hong kong before flying to moscow. he suspects that snowden may have leaked confidential information to officials in china and russia. >> i do know both the chinese and the russian services are sophisticated. and therefore i have every expectation that we will be using all the tools available to them if they thought that in these computers or thumb drives or disks or whatever he has with him, inside there were the key secrets of the american intelligence community, they would spare no effort to get that information. >> stop w5u67ing us! stop watching us. ? is.
>> the u.s. advocacy groups are protesting against the program and the fact that it has been conducted in secret. the government will make the program more transparent, but that there is a price to pay. >> what it is i'm willing to my country men is look, we will tell you more about this, all right? that's going to make you feel a lot more comfortable about these programs, but you have to accept that you will probably be a little less safe too. >> he said snowden's case will affect intelligence activities for many years to am can. let's look at the latest news coming out of our business desk. investors are curious about what american central bankers are thinking, specifically they want to know when the fed will start winding down monetary easing. officials have just released a statement. we go now for more on that. you have been reading through all of it. what does is it say? >> that i ma ebb disappointed to read there was no mention of a
timeline. the policy makers do say that they will continue their massive bond-buying program for the time being in order to bolster the econo economy. officials said in a statement that economic activity expanded at a modest pace in the first half of this year. they say labor market conditions have shown further improvement and the housing market is stronger. they expressed concern over a rise in mortgage rates and say inflation is running below the fed's objective. based on the conditions, policy makers have decided to continue quantitative easing and this aims to $85 million in mortgage and long-term bonds. ben bernanke suggested that the bank could scale back easing by the end of this year, but policy makers at the latest meeting gave no indication of a time table for tapering asset purchases. they said the fed will continue monetary easing until the
outlook substantially improves. they also stressed that the fed will maintain its near interest rate policy as long as the jobless rate is above 6.5%. the latest economic data are in line with the assessment of theus economy. the department of commerce released preliminary gross domestic product information. it shows the economy grew at a pace of 1.7% from the previous three months. analysts expected growth of around 1%. the figure is up from a 1.1% growth posted in the january to march quarter. people are putting more money into housing. investments in residential property increased 13.4%. consumer spending rose 1.8% and corporate spending on factories and equipment showed a 4.6% rise. government spending was down 1.5% due to automatic spending
cuts that have been in place since march. actually the encouraging headline gdp figure boosted sentiment in the u.s. it pushed the dow jones to a record high, but the u.s. marks ended mixed as you can see on the screen. to see how all that is affecting japanese marks, we will go to ra in, in at the stocks ek change. stocks as wells the dollar saw fluctuation. tell us more. >> good morning to you. let's go to the dollar first and then i will come to the nikkei later for this august 1st. dollar yen coming up on the screen. 97.70-72. it rose after the private jobs data in the u.s. and the keenly awaited gdp and fell again against the yen and the euro following the statements. that is market players thought the fed would keep the bond
buying in place for a time and investors are disappointed and the lack of clarity of more of a time table for a possible scaling back. euro yen 129.99-05 right now. let's have a look at the stock markets. the nikkei and the topics in the positive for today. the nikkei ending and falling for a third straight month with trading value also at the lowest since march. if are july it declined 0.1%. still here in japan it's all about earnings. a lot of blue chip companies releasing earnings. we will be watching the financial group. both companies posted an increase in their profits for the april to june quarter. i will check the prices later today as well. panasonic was a bit upbeat saying the april to june
earnings net profit jumped about eight fold or times. on a weaker yen despite the downturn in the mobile phone and camera businesses, they are looking at the industrial sector of homes and auto sector to boost the business. nintendo swung to a profit also for the april to june period held boy a weaker january. despite the wii u. they stick to the sales forecast for the current year. >> give us which key earnings are due up today and what we should be on the look out for. >> i will come that in a second and the big names are sony and sharp. they will be coming out with numbers later on and component maker and beer makers, asahi and kirin, the top two in japan. the key data out of china, the official manufacturing
purchasing managers index for july, coming out later this morning and it always has some kind of an influence on trade here for the nikkei and the topix. we will watch out for that. >> thanks for the update. from the tokyo stock exchange. as he mentioned, it is all about earnings here in japan. five major brokerages have rchted strong earnings for the first quarter of the business year. this is due to a booming stock market. a record net profit of about $670 million for the april to june period. that's about 34 times more in yen terms than the same quarter last year. the securities group booked a net profit of $580 million and 21 times more than the figure from a year earlier. mitsubishi securities holdings posted about $400 million in net profit. the firms are also reported record quarterly earnings.
on other brokerages, they recorded about a six-fold surge and more than three fold. the bank of japan's massive monetary easing program activated markets for stocks and mutual funds since april. securities firms saw earnings from commissions soar. that's the latest in business. i will leave you with a check on the markets. #
>> japanese soldiers fought fierce battles and some met their end fighting on the island in russia's far east. now a group of rugs is working to ensure the lives sacrificed on both sides are not forgotten. we have a report. >> i have come to the forest in this place that is very close to the former border between japan and the soviet with a hard fought battlefield in 1945. the people are starting to search for the remains of japanese soldiers. the search team are members of a volunteer group. they made it their mission to recover fallen soldiers. they hope today will be the start of a homecoming.
it was the site of a fierce battle at the end of world war ii. the troops tried to stop the soviet army and they failed and hundreds died. it is believed that many of them perished in this area. about five kilometers south of the border. the majority still lies where they fell. they follow an overgrown trail. 20 minutes later the metal detector goes off. >> translator: this is a soviet card ridge and this is from a japanese rifle. they are looking for a battlefield following clues provided by former japanese soldiers.
they also find a coin that is dated 1944. scientists will have to examine the remains to confirm their identities, but the group is convinced they are japanese soldiers. >> translator: we don't care if these people fought for the other side. we respect all of the soldiers who gave their lives. we want to give them a proper burial. this war won't officially be over until the last soldier is buried. >> japanese officials are preparing for a possible homecoming. they say anybody identified as japanese will be buried at a national cemetery in tokyo. nhk world, russia. >> time for a cheek on the weather. people are trying to find ways to beat the summer heat. we have more in world weather.
>> exactly right. it's baking hot across the iberian peninsula. the mercury hit 38 degrees in madrid. how people are escaping the heat, take a look at the footage. people in downtown madrid have gotten a break from the ongoing heat wave. this oasis offered people a chance to disconnect from the daily stress and hosting heat. they enjoyed a real sandy beach, ice sculptures and cocktails. with temperatures hovering at about 30 degrees, the 68 ounce sculptures stood only for about two hours and i think more people will come to the place because heat will be continuing for the time being. we have lots of heat alerts posted for many year areas. the orange shows the second highest level and that is posted for parts of the iberian peninsula and the northern parts of the bull can peninsula and going into saturday as you can
see, temperatures on the hot side. 38 degrees on friday as well. milan is 33 on thursday. we will go up into the mid 30s into your saturday. watch out for heat stroke. the reason for the hot weather is this system covering most of the western continent and strong winds are flowing into this frontal system and coming in from the atlantic that could cause heavy rain for the morn hastful uk into the next few days. for east asia, a rain band is lying over producing a lot of rain and you have about 60 millimeters of rain in the space of hour. not good news because western japan dealt with quite heavy rain and floding over the past couple of days. rain and thunderstorms will likely linger throughout much of the day and towards the west, a line of showers can be found
from the north eastern china in southwestern china. you notice that a circle of purple can be found across the south china sea. this is a tropical storm. the ninth of the typhoon season so far that could hit the island by saturday morning local time as a tropical storm and continue to head towards nearn vietnam. stormy continues will likely occur. this evening more stormy conditions into the weekend. not just this area, but also the northwestern side of the philippines we will see stormy conditions due to the enhanced monsoon. temperatures are high across much of eastern china. 38 degrees for you in shanghai on thursday. finally in north america, we are seeing a long rain band stretching from the southern half of the plains into the ontario as well as the great lakes region. severe weather across this area and across the north. even tornados couldn't be ruled
out in places and with widespread rain for the southeastern corner and into thursday, lots of rain across the eastern 30 including washington, d.c. as well as new york city and across the west mostly dry, but spotty showers across the west. the lower 20s in seattle and comfortable in chicago at 26 and hot towards the south. here's the extended forecast. #
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: the obama administration released classified documents today outlining the national security agency's massive collection of domestic phone records. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight: the release comes amid reports of a new n.s.a. spying program on internet activity. we look at the latest revelations and the secret court at the center of the controversy. >> ifill: then, ben bernanke's tenure as federal reserve chairman nears its end, as the debate over who will replace him